Palm gets a new CEO

Palm (PALM) CEO Ed Colligan is leaving and will be replaced by executive chairman Jon Rubinstein. Rubinstein, formerly of Apple (AAPL), is credited with being the primary force behind the new Pre.

Why did Colligan "decide" to leave after 16 years at the company? There are several theories, but no one outside Palm may ever know. The theory that should worry investors the most is that sales of the Pre are off to a worse start than Palm's board expected.

It is possible that Colligan simply got worn out by well over a decade helping run a very troubled company. He will join Palm's largest investor, Elevation Partners, after taking a break.

The most likely reason for Colligan's departure is that he got sick of having Rubinstein, a star hardware designer and a man put into the company by Elevation, looking over his shoulder.

Whatever Colligan's reasons for leaving, it adds more turmoil to a company that does not need it. Within a month or so, the world will know whether the Pre improved Palm's earnings enough to truly turn the company around. If the results are weak, it will not matter who the CEO is.

Douglas A. McIntyre an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

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